What is the number one skill you should seek in candidates?

Recruitment agencies now have a wide array of productivity software available to them that can help during the candidate selection process.

Such software solutions offer advanced search features that allow recruiters to hone in on the specific, tangible skills employers demand.

However, according to one expert, there is also one critical skill that employers should keep an extra careful eye out for – the ability to learn.

According to Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand, the unpredictable nature of today's organisations and industries means candidates now need to demonstrate the flexibility to constantly learn and develop.

"Employers are starting to prioritise learning aptitude, in some cases over the technical skills and experience required in suitable candidates," says Mr Deligiannis.

"The world is changing rapidly. This places a premium on an employee's ability to learn and respond to their employer's and the market's changing demands."

So what should recruitment agencies and employers do to seek candidates with this often immeasurable attribute?

Mr Deligiannis suggests looking beyond the "traditional and rigid skills-based approach" to recruitment and focusing on candidates' willingness to learn on the job.

Recruitment software such as FastTrack360 can certainly still prove invaluable in assessing which candidates possess what skills, but these solutions should be used in tandem with other measures to gauge the learning aptitude of candidates.

Psychometric testing, for instance, can be an effective method of assessing your candidates' soft skills, such as their ability to learn and adapt.

Recruiters can also invest more effort into the interview stage, which provides the best opportunity to really interact with candidates and pick up more clues on their suitability for a role.

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